HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

J-K: Cong may shun NC, join hands with PDP

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 22, 2014
First Published: 23:50 IST(22/6/2014) | Last Updated: 00:18 IST(23/6/2014)

Amid growing clamour for the Congress to contest alone in the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the party has called an emergency meeting of senior leaders and legislators in Srinagar on Monday to elicit their views on both pre and post-poll alliance options.

The move comes two days after senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad met with former J&K chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in Srinagar on Saturday.

The two leaders are said to have discussed the possibility of an alliance between the two parties, which parted ways on a bitter note in 2008 following the Amarnath land row.

As reported first by HT, the Congress leadership is veering to the view that it would be “detrimental” for the party to contest the assembly polls in alliance with the National Conference (NC).

Elections are due in J&K in November- December this year.

Majority of state Congress leaders want the party to fight on its own in the polls and keep open the post-poll options.

Both the Congress and the NC failed to open their account in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections, prompting a blame game on both sides. The two parties have been in the ruling coalition since January 2009.

On the other hand, the PDP is buoyed by the outcome of Lok Sabha elections in the Kashmir valley where it won all the three seats, prompting the leadership to abandon any plan to forge a pre-poll alliance with the Congress.

“Our leadership is not keen on pre-poll alliance with any party. We will prefer to wait till results are out,” a PDP leader said.

A number of J&K Congress leaders told HT that they would urge the party leadership to immediately snap ties with the “hugely unpopular” NC.

Apart from Azad, the meeting would be attended by Congress general secretary Ambika Soni and state unit chief Saifud-din Soz.

Azad had earlier stated that workers and leaders of both the Congress and the NC were against any alliance between the two parties. The NC too in its working committee meeting on June 16 had ruled out any pre-poll alliance with the Congress.

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